April 2018

The AusIMM Awards 2018

  • By AusIMM

Recognising and celebrating professional excellence

The AusIMM Awards have been recognising contributions to the Institute and professional excellence in the resources industry for more than 80 years. First awarded in 1935, AusIMM Awards celebrate outstanding contributions to best practice professionalism in the resources sector. The awards help to promote and raise the overall standard of professional practice, and send a clear message to our communities that we are committed to the highest standards.

All AusIMM members are eligible to nominate and be nominated for one or more awards, and all members are encouraged to nominate individuals or groups to recognise and celebrate achievement of the highest professional standards and/or service to the Institute.

Recognition of these achievements by the Institute, our peers, the industry and the community is a fundamental responsibility of the AusIMM. Recognition occurs in many ways within and beyond the AusIMM, from appreciation at branch level, through to the formal AusIMM Awards and on to the national honours systems.

The 2018 AusIMM Awards were presented in Adelaide as part of Congress 2018.

Nominations for the 2019 AusIMM Awards are now open. Visit the AusIMM website for full nomination guidelines.

Highest honours

The Institute Medal: James (Jim) Askew FAusIMM

The Institute Medal is the most prestigious award and highest honour conferred by the AusIMM. It is awarded in recognition of eminent leadership of the AusIMM or the resources sector. 

Jim has made a significant contribution to the global minerals industry, accumulating an impressive record of achievements by founding and leading numerous mining and mining services companies, assembling and leveraging management teams and enhancing long-term shareholder value. He is a seasoned executive and mining engineer, with over 45 years of international mining and business experience, spread across base and precious metals and industrial minerals. Jim has been a director or CEO for a wide range of Australian and internationally listed companies including Golden Shamrock Mines Ltd (which co-founded Ausdrill Ltd), Rayrock Ltd, Yamana Gold Inc, Golden Star Mines Inc, Sino Gold Ltd, OceanaGold Corp and Evolution Mining Ltd, which has become the second largest ASX listed gold miner.

Jim began his mining career in 1974 at The Zinc Corporation in Broken Hill. In 1981 he founded the consultancy firm now known as AMC Consultants. He has also been involved globally with private equity, plus angel investing in mining technology start-ups. Jim is currently non-executive chairman of Syrah Resources and OceanaGold Corp, plus a board member of Evolution Mining Ltd and Endeavour Mining Corp.

Jim’s leadership and dedication to innovation and excellence in the global minerals sector is unsurpassed and makes him well-suited to receive the highest honour the AusIMM can bestow.

AusIMM President’s Award: Dr Peter Lilly FAusIMM

The President’s Award may be presented to any senior and influential professional who has made a notable contribution to, or achievement within the AusIMM or the resources sector. There are two recipients for this award in 2018.

Peter has given extraordinary and sustained service to the AusIMM, notably as President in 2006 and as a board member from 2001-2008. Peter has also been an active member of the Education Endowment Fund Board; the Audit and Risk Management, Education, Publications, Events and MinSoc committees; and the Kalgoorlie, Perth and Southern Queensland Branches.

Over the past three years, Peter has dedicated his time and energy to leading the AusIMM Royal Charter and By-Laws Taskforce, which was charged with reviewing and modernising AusIMM’s governing documents. The scale and scope of this important task cannot be overstated.

The updated Charter and By-Laws were voted on favourably by members in August 2017 and in December 2017 the Governor-General of Australia granted a supplemental Royal Charter and new By-Laws, confirming AusIMM’s incorporation in Australia. This Charter came into effect on 1 January 2018. An incorporated model was established in New Zealand through AusIMM NZ Limited.

It took great determination and commitment from Peter and his small group to achieve this task, which has helped to ensure the future of the AusIMM. Since completion of the Charter and By-Laws Review Taskforce work, Peter has also taken on the role of Chair of the Compliance Review Taskforce, tasked with reviewing AusIMM Complaints and Ethics processes.

AusIMM President’s Award: Emeritus Professor James (Jim) Galvin FAusIMM(CP)

Jim has shown longstanding commitment and made outstanding contributions to the mining industry by improving the health and safety of all mine workers through effective ground control and advocacy of risk management processes.

During his time in operations in the 1980s, Jim was instrumental in improving mine design standards in Australian coal mining and in pioneering new mine management structures, leading one of the largest underground coal mines in Australia from a ‘prescriptive legislative’ mindset to a ‘duty of care’ mindset. His contributions in pillar design, pillar extraction practices, mining technology and to industry bodies resulted, for example, in a near 15-fold reduction in fatalities associated with pillar extraction.

After joining UNSW in 1993, Jim developed industry training programs in coal pillar and roadway mechanics and extraction, and established the UNSW Mining Research Centre. Subsequently, he introduced and oversaw the development of virtual reality training that is now embedded at all mines rescue stations in NSW.

As a leading global expert on mine stability and subsidence engineering, Jim has conducted numerous independent reviews for industry and government and has sat on a number of government commissions of inquiry and planning assessment panels.

Honorary Fellowship: Gary Chilman

Honorary Fellowship recognises exceptional achievement, service or contribution to the minerals sector. This grade of membership may be conferred on any senior and influential professional who has performed notable, active and sustained service to the AusIMM or made a major contribution to the minerals sector. There are three recipients of Honorary Fellowships in 2018.

Gary is recognised as a knowledge node in the mineral processing community and an exemplar of information accumulation and sharing. Throughout his 60-year career in technical and management roles at Broken Hill and Amdel (now Bureau Veritas), Gary has been the keeper and disseminator of much knowledge. Despite retiring in 2017, Gary is still on hand to help colleagues and clients at BV.

Gary was legendary in Broken Hill, highly proficient across all the diverse processing areas and often played the role of ‘conductor of the orchestra’ as he pulled major projects together. Gary was well known as the most loyal, hardworking and helpful person you could ever have in a work team. His generosity knew no bounds and his authority grew from the professional way he went about his work and the respect he had for his co-workers, no matter what their role was.

For many people, Gary is the type of person who makes it worthwhile being in the industry. His professionalism and commitment make the awarding of an Honorary Fellowship most fitting.

Honorary Fellowship: Rex Berthelsen FAusIMM(CP)

Rex has shown outstanding commitment and devotion to the AusIMM over many years, particularly during his time on the Board and as President from 2015-2016.

Rex served on the Cobar Branch from 1996 and chaired the branch from 2002 until 2010, and continued to serve on this committee – as well as the Lachlan Branch committee – until 2013. He was elected to the AusIMM Board in 2011. Rex has also served on numerous AusIMM Board committees.

Rex was elected President during a particularly challenging time for the Institute, and he had to make some very difficult and courageous decisions. He has showed dedication and determination to ensure the best possible outcomes for all AusIMM members and stakeholders. Rex initiated the transformational changes required for the AusIMM to safeguard our long-term financial sustainability. Much of this could only be achieved at personal and professional costs to Rex.

With his approach of respect, humility and trust, Rex brings the best out of everyone. The energy and commitment Rex invests to the AusIMM is enormous, as he continues to demonstrate the characteristics that make the AusIMM a successful and resilient organisation.

Honorary Fellowship: Dr Ralph Holmes FAusIMM(CP)

Ralph has served the AusIMM and the resources industry with extraordinary and sustained service over many years. He has chaired eight biennial iron ore conferences from 2002-2017 and chaired six sampling conferences from 2005-2017, as well as the 25th International Mineral Processing Congress (IMPC), hosted jointly by the AusIMM and CSIRO.

Ralph joined CSIRO in 1971 to work on nuclear techniques for analysis of iron ore, including developing ISO standards and chairing ISO committees for sampling ores and concentrates. Over the last 30 years Ralph has focused on mineral processing research, and has managed CSIRO’s iron ore processing research for more than 20 years. He has been the Portfolio Leader – Carbon Steel for CSIRO Mineral Resources for the past three years and is in high demand as an international expert in iron ore processing and sampling.

Ralph has received many awards for his outstanding contributions to the development of mineral sampling standards, for developing ‘Ironscan’ for the on-stream analysis of iron ore, and for excellence in teaching and application of the theory of sampling.

He was awarded a CSIRO Lifetime Achievement Award in October 2015.

Beryl Jacka Award: Neil Phillips FAusIMM(CP)

This award is named in honour of Beryl Jacka, a stalwart of the AusIMM over a period of 40 years and AusIMM Secretary from 1948-1976. The award is presented in recognition of extraordinary and sustained service to the AusIMM.

Neil is an accomplished geologist, leader and mentor to students and practising professionals alike. He is a renowned expert on various types of gold mineralisation around the world.

Teaching and training is a major part of Neil’s life, and he mentors many young, mid-career and senior geologists.

Neil has authored numerous geological papers for scientific journals and AusIMM conference publications.

Neil was the editor of Australian Ore Deposits (Monograph 32), launched in September 2017, which is a comprehensive data source of the great mineral resources and exploration successes of our mining industry. This was a significant undertaking, and would not have been possible without the sustained efforts and commitment of Neil and the AusIMM staff led by Kristy Burt.

Professional Excellence Awards

These awards recognise excellence demonstrated by a resources professional (individual or group) for significant contributions to the development or application of professional knowledge, practice or leadership.

Ross McAree

Ross has been instrumental in driving and developing the Shovel Load Assist Program (SLAP), which developed operator assist and automation technologies to provide multiple benefits to the performance of electric mining shovels. This eight-year project was completed in June 2016 and has effectively demonstrated the feasibility of a suite of operator assist and automation technologies that enhance the capabilities and safety of electric rope shovel operations.

Most of the work in the industry has been on vehicle collisions, with the intervention generally in the form of emergency brake application. However, the SLAP project was directed towards autonomous operation and the avoidance responses are more appropriate, complex and sophisticated.

Geoffrey Dunlop MAusIMM

Geoff has been a recognised leader in the field of metallurgy over many decades. Geoff undertook early geometallurgy work developing geological and metallurgical characterisations of the major Mount Isa orebodies, which resulted in significant improvements in metallurgical performance.

In 1998 Geoff co-edited Mineral Processing and Hydrometallurgy Plant Design, the pre-cursor to the AusIMM MetPlant conference series. From 2002-2013 he co-convened this series.

From 2015-2017 Geoff helped compile papers from over 40 AusIMM conferences, which became the spectrum publication We are Metallurgists, Not Magicians – Landmark Papers by Practising Metallurgists.

Geoff has served on the AusIMM Mt Isa and Adelaide Branch committees and reached 61 years of membership with the AusIMM in 2017. He has embodied the characteristics of technical excellence throughout his eminent career in the minerals industry.

Corinne Unger MAusIMM(CP)

Corinne is a thought leader on environmental and social matters specifically relating to mining legacies from incomplete mine rehabilitation, closure or abandonment. She has conducted extensive research through her Churchill Fellowship in 2009 and then at the University of Queensland (UQ). She has actively advocated for improvement in rehabilitation and closure, as demonstrated during her tenure as the inaugural Chair of the AusIMM Community and Environment Society.

Recognising the opportunity for mining industry professionals to take the lead on good practice for abandoned mine management in Australia, in 2011 Corinne led the development of an AusIMM discussion paper and subsequent member survey on the subject.

Corinne hosted the inaugural Managing Mining Legacies forum in 2012, at the Centre for Mined Land Rehabilitation at UQ. Prior to this, she led mine rehabilitation and closure planning for Ranger Mine in the NT. After this, she was Project Manager for the Mount Morgan legacy mine rehabilitation project, which generated a plan for management of Acid and Metalliferous Drainage (AMD), heritage conservation and secondary mining. From her work, a statewide abandoned mine program was initiated. Corinne is also on the committee for the AusIMM spectrum series publication From Start to Finish – A Life-of-Mine Perspective, and has just concluded a two-year term on the Chartered Professional Board.

New Professional Award: Michael Genockey GAusIMM

Michael has been an active member of the AusIMM for the past eight years, initially as a student studying a double degree in mining and geology when he received an AusIMM Education Endowment Fund Scholarship.

Michael was a highly engaged member of the Adelaide Student Chapter as Secretary and President.

Among his many duties as Student Chapter President, Michael also helped establish the inaugural Student Honours Presentation Night at Adelaide University.

After accepting a graduate position with Glencore in Mt Isa, Michael immediately joined the North West Queensland Branch committee and has been their Secretary since 2016. He has demonstrated a sustained level of maturity and a capacity to engage, promote and lead his fellow professionals.

Best Paper Prize: William J Shaw FAusIMM(CP) and Andrew J Scogings MAusIMM

The 2018 Best Paper Prize is awarded to a paper presented at the Tenth International Mining Geology Conference 2017, entitled ‘The importance of geometallurgical test work for industrial minerals projects’.



Institute or Minerals Sector Service Awards

The Institute or Minerals Sector Service Awards build upon the former Branch and Society Service and AusIMM Service Awards.

These awards may be presented to any Institute member or to a group of members. These awards recognise consistent and significant contribution to the ongoing success of the Institute and/or the resources sector.

David Hunter MAusIMM(CP)

David has been an enthusiastic, reliable and productive member of the North Queensland Branch committee. During his time as Chair, David has revitalised branch functions and established monthly technical meetings for members covering a broad range of topics. This work has been successful in raising the standards of professional practice within the branch and demonstrated the commitment of AusIMM members to the highest standards of professional practice.

In his capacity as a metallurgist in both the QNI Research and Development team and the Metallurgical Accounts team, David has made significant contributions to operational improvements. This work was aided by his commitment to further education including studying post-graduate computer science to better understand and utilise the increase in available data at all steps from mine to market.

Richard Evans MAusIMM(CP)

Richard was nominated because of his excellent work as MAP (Member Assistance Program) Coordinator over the past few years. Managing the cycles of our industry can be isolating and challenging for individuals. As Melbourne Branch MAP Coordinator, Richard has created a supportive network for those that find themselves unemployed or under-employed.

In this role, Richard has piloted direct peer contact, networking gatherings, supported development of the MAP Online Toolkit, initiated a series of masterclasses and investigated low-cost office space for members. He has also presented at Congress encouraging the development of similar programs across other AusIMM branches.


Adrian Pratt FAusIMM(CP)

Adrian Pratt is highly regarded and respected in his professional role, and is currently an independent consultant, having held senior operational and management roles during his career.

He has displayed an exceptional and commendable level of commitment and dedication to the AusIMM over many years, leaving a tangible legacy of professional development opportunities for resources professionals. He is a dedicated and reliable member in all his roles, bringing an enviable enthusiasm to each group, ensuring they reach best possible outcomes.

Adrian has made a significant contribution to the AusIMM as an organising committee member and in leadership roles for branches and conferences, and has supported a range of AusIMM conferences and publications as a contributing author.


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